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FISASCORE® is a comprehensive assessment that measures your organization’s information security risk. It was created because of a recognized need in the information security industry for a common language people could use to be on the same page about security. Built on the widely unsterstood credit score scale, FISASCORE measures four different types of controls and give you the score to litmus test and starting point for improvements. Every organization should have a FISASCORE and here is why.

1. FISASCORE is easy to understand.

Information security is a complex discipline with many moving parts, but FISASCORE simplifies the communication about how your information security program is performing. You don’t need to be an information security expert with years of experience to understand what FISASCORE is telling you. One simple number represents your overall risk, and additional indicators show where your most significant risks are.

2. FISASCORE can tell you what everyone else is doing.

Hundreds of organizations have received their FISASCORE and this allows for good, fact-based comparisons. One of the common questions we receive about information security is, “What is everybody else doing?” This question comes from the responsibility for due care/due diligence, liability, and knowing that there’s “protection in the herd.

3. With a FISASCORE, you can track progress.

FISASCORE is a point of reference that should be used to track progress and to determine whether risk is maintained within your tolerance. Your information security program and risks are always getting better or worse; they never stay the same. Questions about progress, regular reporting, and support for maintaining your information security program are all answered through the FISASCORE.

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The average FISASCORE is 567.72. An “acceptable” level of security is 660.

4. FISASCORE is objective.

FISASCORE is maintained by an independent organization that doesn’t do consulting work, and has no other purpose but to provide accurate measurements of information security risk. In addition to organizational objectivity, the score is also objective. FISASCORE is calculated through the measurement of thousands of objective characteristics that take much of the guesswork and opinion out of the equation.

5. FISASCORE is credible.

FISASCORE was developed over the course of more than 15 years through the work of seasoned information security practitioners and is now on its fifth major release. FISASCORE is based on generally well-accepted information security standards. The criteria for measurement are all referenceable to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), and its supporting standards: NIST SP 800-53, COBIT, ISO 27001:2013, and CIS CSC.

6. FISASCORE represents risk.

Risk is the combination of vulnerabilities and applicable threats that manifest themselves into the likelihood of something bad happening and the impact if it did. If there is no vulnerability (or weakness) in a control, there is no risk. If there is a vulnerability in a control without an applicable threat, there is also no risk. FISASCORE represents the analysis of hundreds of controls, thousands of vulnerabilities and thousands of threats, resulting in likelihoods and impacts of bad events.

7. FISASCORE is comprehensive.

Fundamental to FISASCORE is our definition of information security: The application of administrative, physical, and technical controls to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. There are four phases within FISASCORE:

• Phase 1 – Administrative Controls
• Phase 2 – Physical Controls
• Phase 3 – Internal Technical Controls
• Phase 4 – External Technical Controls

All four parts of the information security program must work well together. A weakness in one control can lead to a collapse of all others. The phases are further segmented into sections, and the sections are further segmented into controls. The final FISASCORE report is presented both high level and then digs deep in the details.

8. There is fast-growing community support for FISASCORE.

The partner community behind FISASCORE is critical to its success. Partners works to generate FISASCOREs for their clients, but the partner community is also vital to future improvements and considerations. The partner community participates in further improvements of the methodology, shares critical information, and evangelizes the need for a common information security language (provided by FISASCORE). Our partners include IT service companies, CPA firms, insurance brokers and security consulting companies.

9. FISASCORE is an indicator of future losses.

As FISASCORE continues to evolve, we get closer to understanding the true losses behind information security incidents and breaches. FISASCORE provides the framework for predicting future information security losses accurately, using the best information available. Today FISASCORE is tied to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute for loss data.

10. FISASCORE is a competitive advantage.

Information security as a competitive advantage? Yes, absolutely! FISASCORE is a representation of the efforts you’ve put into information security and it’s a demonstration that you know where your most significant information security risks are. Armed with this information, you can make an objective case to your customers that you take information security seriously, backed by experienced information security experts, a community of partners, and a clean methodology. Don’t forget the fact that you can now invest your information security dollars where they will have the greatest benefit.

 

 

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Douglas County Hospital is a system of healthcare providers that includes Heartland Orthopedic Specialists, Alexandria Clinic and Osakis Clinic. This 127-bed, non-profit regional hospital and clinics located in Alexandria, MN includes 875 staff and 72 physicians and advanced practice professionals providing integrated health care services to the patients, families and communities they serve.

The hospital is heavily focused on customer care, and because of this, saw a need to keep the organization’s patient data as safe as possible. Its leadership understood that compliance is only a small part of risk management and that it needed to expand its thinking beyond the ordinary security measures. Heating and cooling systems, outside foliage and camera placements were just a few potential vulnerabilities the hospital was looking to measure vulnerabilities on.

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So, Douglas County Hospital looked to SecurityStudio®.

SecurityStudio® was vital in helping the hospital mature its information security program. It provided an intensive independent review of the hospital’s security practices. To do so, it used the FISASCORE® assessment, a security rating system that measures internal, external, administrative and physical security controls. This assessment was the crucial first step in improving the hospital’s security program, as it indicated strengths, weaknesses and threats that could help determine where the focuses for improvement should lie.

“Our information security program and policies should be based on an independent and unbiased standard. This assessment is helpful as it gives us a foundation on which to mature our program, develop new policies and rework current practices,” Director of Information Security, Joyce Beck said.

“We wanted to understand our security position and its effectiveness. After the assessment we learned that strengthening logical segmentation protocols via restrictive VLAN would protect our overall network from unauthorized access in a more effective way. Systems such as heating, cooling and camera control were given limited access and could only communicate on their assigned VLAN networks,” IT Lead Ryan Engelbrecht added.

The implementation of the additional protocols through the assessment added an additional layer of security to the hospital’s overall security. On top of this, it shifted their focus from reactionary thinking to a proactive mindset with a systematic handling of their known vulnerabilities, and it guided the hospital on recommended lifecycles for its hardware and software.

“Asset management was one of the tools we utilized but not to its fullest potential. Improved documentation was implemented and additional methods for auditing and ensuring the necessary follow through were added. The assessment gave us an approach that was modest and a directive to keep it simple, by starting at square one and building this plan from the ground up. This made the process of managing our hardware less overwhelming and cumbersome,” Engelbrecht said.

The FISASCORE® security assessment not only pinpointed vulnerabilities for immediate improvement but also provided a roadmap for enhancing the overall security posture of Douglas County Hospital. Overall, this open, collaborative and mentoring approach is what made the difference to improving the hospital’s security position now and into the future.

 

 

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Information security demands are increasing at a dramatic rate. Security services are expected to grow to more than $100 billion by the year 2020 and nearly 40% of all contracts will be bundled with other security services and broader IT outsourcing projects. Becoming a managed security service provider (MSSP) and partnering with a security firm allows you to get ahead of this curve, and allows you to provide security services and enhancements to those customers that need and ask for them.

The Right Tools

Security tools are a key benefit of partnering with an information security company. By offering a broad range of products and offerings, you not only improve your customers’ security postures, but you’re also providing your organization the opportunity for strong monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and professional services revenue. This all starts with the assessment. Your customers won’t know how to improve their information security posture without first knowing what needs to be improved.

 

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SecurityStudio offers the most robust and comprehensive risk assessment tool on the market. Information Security is a complex mastery of many moving parts. To simplify this complexity, we needed a common language around security that anyone could understand. From this need came the FISASCORE. FISASCORE is a numeric scoring system that measures risk by evaluating the Administrative, Physical and Technical Controls of an organization. It’s built on the same scale as a credit score and translates to any organization, which makes it a simple and comprehensive way for anyone to speak to security.

 

VENDEFENSE

Often, when a breach or information security incident occurs, it comes from vendors of the company impacted and not the company itself. Not only do organizations struggle to manage the risk their vendors can bring to their information security, many of them aren’t even aware of who all their vendors are. Vendefense allows you to find, list, categorize and assess your third parties. Utilizing FISASCORE as the risk assessment metric, your customers can easily manage the risk of their vendors.

Understanding Requirements

Your customers may simply want to be more secure. However, there are many lines of business that have security requirements that they need to comply with. An additional benefit of becoming an MSSP by partnering with an information security organization is the knowledge base around audits, compliance and regulatory requirements. Working with security experts gives you training and assistance on these requirements so that you can ensure both you and your customers comply with regulatory requirements for your industry. In turn, you’ll also dramatically improve your customers’ security postures.

Set Up to Succeed

Even with great products, a partnership will not succeed without solid relationships and mutual engagement. It’s important that when you choose a security expert to partner with, you choose one that will continue to work in conjunction with your organization to help you succeed. Good security expert partners give you sales and analyst training, sales and lead generation tools, marketing content and more through a channel partner program. Not only does this put your organization in a position to satisfy all its customers’ needs and wants, but it also allows you to continue to expand your client and customer base. By leveraging techniques, practices and materials of expert partners, your organization quickly becomes a trusted security organization that your customers will continuously look to lean on and build off.

Information security demands are increasing at a dramatic rate. By becoming a partner of a security expert, you can provide your customers and clients with the right products and services to increase their information security, while driving a profit for your own organization simultaneously.

To learn more about how you can become an MSSP for your clients, visit our become a partner page.